USGS Photos From the East Rift Zone, June 9

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The U.S. Geological Survey released these photos of the East Rift Zone on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Cracking and slumping of the Halema‘uma‘u crater walls are clearly evident in this aerial view captured during HVO’s overflight of Kīlauea’s summit this morning.

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Steam plumes have been rising from within the crater, as well as from cracks adjacent to the crater.

USGS-HVO geophysicists installed additional continuous GPS stations around Halema‘uma‘u this morning.

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These stations will allow scientists to better monitor and measure the ongoing subsidence of Halema‘uma‘u and the adjacent caldera floor.

As of 6:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9, fissure 8 continued to feed a vigorous channelized lava flow to the east of the vent. Overnight, fountain heights were generally 130-160 feet high, with occasional bursts up to just under 200 feet high.

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Fallout from the fountains has built an asymmetric cinder-and-spatter cone around the vent, with the southwest side of the cone slightly higher (about 115 feet) than the northeast side (about 65 feet). This asymmetry reflects the prevailing trade winds, with more lava piling up on the downwind side of the fountains.


An aerial view of the Kapoho ocean entry, as of 6:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9, shows the extent of the lava delta, now about 200 acres in size, that has formed over the past six days (lava first entered the ocean on the night of June 3).

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Across the front of the delta, plumes of laze—created by molten lava interacting with seawater—appeared diminished this morning, but was probably due to a change in atmospheric conditions rather than a change in the amount of fissure 8 lava reaching the ocean. Laze, a mixture of seawater steam, hydrochloric acid, and tiny volcanic glass particles, can irritate eyes, lungs, and skin, and should be avoided.

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